We all like Smartphones with huge screens, but did you know it has a big impact on your batteries? Nowadays batteries don’t last forever, and some devices have an almost-embarrassing screen-on time. Those big luscious IPS, AMOLED and LCD screens are an obvious drain on your battery, but there are lots of things you can do behind the scenes to make your Android last longer. We already gave a comprehensive guide on how to get more out of your Smartphone’s battery, and today we focus on Android phones only. So, let’s check out these 19 Tips to help you extend the battery life of your Android phone.
Understanding Android batteries
Lets start with a quick background: most smartphones have either a Lithium Ion battery or a Lithium Polymer battery. Both are Lithium Ion though, and as such, do not have a ‘memory’, which means you don’t have to fully charge or discharge them at the beginning, and partial charging is fine throughout their life.
In fact, these types of batteries suffer from low voltage problems, so it’s actually better to partially charge them (say, from 10 percent to 90 percent) than to fully charge and fully drain them. There are many ongoing debates about smartphone batteries, so for every accepted tip there will be someone that says it makes no difference. At the end of the day, just find the ones that work for you.
1. Keep wallpapers and backgrounds Black to save battery
If your phone has an AMOLED screen (like most Samsung devices), using a dark-colored background will help prolong that precious battery juice. Black wallpapers save your battery because AMOLED screens only illuminate the colored pixels. This means the Black pixels remain unlit, so the more black pixels you have, or the darker pixels, the less power is needed to light them up, hence saving battery.
2. Turn off adaptive/auto brightness
Always set your own brightness on the screen of your smartphone. Don’t use display auto-brightness. Note that auto-brightness is usually way brighter than you really need. It’s better to manually set the brightness to a level that is low, but comfortable, and bump it up when necessary. This is one of the best ways to improve your battery life because the screen is one of the biggest battery suckers.
3. The Greenify App could help you
There are hundreds of Android apps that claim to optimize performance and improve battery life, but instead do the opposite. One app that we have used is called Greenify and it actually works. Greenify allows you to put other apps into hibernation when they aren’t in use, preventing them from operating in the background. How cool is that!
This basically helps you free up system resources and boosts battery performance, but we have to admit, you will need some brain power to figure out which apps to freeze. For Greenify to be effective you can’t just hibernate every installed app. But, since there are a lot of Android apps that perform actions you don’t know about, or necessarily want, this is a useful tool.
4. Doze mode
Thanks to Marshmallow (Android 6.0) Google introduced a new feature called Doze. Sorry for those with old Android versions, you can skip this one. What Doze basically does is to help you get more out of your device’s battery. This feature is enabled by default and essentially allows your device to enter hibernation mode when it has been sat unused for a prolonged period.
This means that when you are sleeping, your phone also sleeps, and will lose just 3-5 percent of its battery power during and average night, rather than up to a quarter, as it would have done without Doze. Apps are not obliged to use Doze, and you can view which ones use it and which don’t in Settings and edit the list if you want to. For those using Sony Phones, the company plans to put its own enhanced stamina mode into Marshmallow for its Xperia range of smartphones.
5. Set screen time out to be as short as possible
That time when you have to wait for your phone‘s display has to switch off automatically when you are not using it is called Screen time out. Its is always advisable to set your display’s screen timeout to as short a time as is practical for you. The longer the time, the more power drain. Say if your screen timeout is set to a minute, it’ll use four times more power than if it were set to 15 seconds. Simple logic I would assume.
6. Say NO to counterfeit batteries
Fake batteries are a danger to you and your phone. Be aware! Only use original batteries or respected third-party manufacturer batteries. Buying a battery because it’s the most affordable will might damage your beloved smartphone. Don’t make poor choices when it comes to batteries. Remember that counterfeit batteries also deliver sub-standard battery performance.
7. Turn off haptic feedback and vibrate
Switch off vibrate. Yes, every time your phone vibrates, a percent of your battery is used up. Unless you really need that added awareness, you could as well turn off vibration alerts for incoming calls and also Instant Messaging apps like WhatsApp. Fun fact: It actually takes more power to vibrate your phone than it does to ring it. Also, for the “chataholics” out there, turn off haptic feedback too (that buzz you get from typing on the keyboard). As much as it gives a sense of typing on a physical keyboard, it doesn’t really add anything to your experience, as it is another battery drainer.
8. Use lock screen notifications
Lock screen notifications can also help save you battery life, especially if your phone has an AMOLED screen. This is because you can see your notifications at a glance without having to turn your whole screen on. This is especially useful if you get lots of notifications that aren’t worth following up on immediately. Lock screen notifications come standard on Android Lollipop.
If you’re using Android KitKat, try using lock screen widgets or notifications if your ROM supports them, or install an app that does it for you like Dynamic Notifications. (Downlaod app below) You’ll be able to get basically all your content without having to unlock your phone fully and navigating around. You’ll still need to light your whole screen up, but you’ll have it on for much less time than normal.
9.Turn off all gimmicky smart features
For those with phone that come jam-packed with gimmicky features, you can as well turn them off. Features air gestures and smart scrolling, especially if you have a Samsung are a drain on your battery. Unless you really use these features every day, they’re just using battery power for no reason.
10. Set your ‘Do Not Disturb’ or ‘sleep’ schedule
DND or Do Not Disturb is an interesting mode. You can Set sleep times or blocking mode to switch off Wi-Fi and mobile data when you don’t need them. Most of use have different work schedules, so if your phone is basically off-limits at work, set your device to not ring, vibrate or connect to the internet while you’re at work. Many Android phones have a Do Not Disturb setting for just this purpose.
Using airplane mode when you’re asleep or use sleep or blocking modes to set up limits for what your phone does during certain times of the day, whether that’s while you’re asleep, at work or in a meeting. Cool apps such as IFTTT let you create rules that can help you save battery life too. You can try it out below.
11. Being connected 24/7 is not a must
GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi and mobile data can always be turned off when you are not using them. Turning off location data, or changing your Location settings to use Wi-Fi or 3G data rather than GPS is also as good.
Even though they consume very little power, only turn on Bluetooth and NFC as long as you need them, and there’s no need to have both Wi-Fi and mobile data turned on at all times, especially if you know exactly when you’ll need one or the other.
If you use Wi-Fi a lot though, say at home and at work, then it makes sense to keep set your Wi-Fi to ‘Always on during sleep’ as this uses less power than to have your Wi-Fi reconnecting every time you wake your phone.
12. Reduce or Remove those widgets
Saying bye bey to widgets can be a good start to save your battery life. This many applied to those widgets that always request to connect to the internet, such as weather widgets. If you have multiple widgets across several home screens, which are constantly syncing and updating (Twitter, weather, Gmail and the like), you’re not doing your battery any favors.
13. Always keep your apps up-to-date and delete unused apps
Always Keep your apps updated. There’s a reason developers constantly update apps, and most of the time its memory or battery optimization. Keeping your apps updated also means you have the best optimizations available. But this may not be always the case as some developers could make their apps worse than before so be aware. Also, delete old apps you no longer use because these may be running background processes that chew up RAM and battery life.
14. Explore the battery saving features on your phone
All ROMs, whether stock Android, OEM UIs such as TouchWiz or custom ROMs like CyanogenMod, have various settings in the menu to help conserve or optimize battery consumption.
HTC has Extreme Power Saving Mode, Samsung has Ultra Power Saving Mode, Sony has STAMINA mode and so on. Find these various options for your device and ROM and make them work for you.
15. Take advantage of your basic battery saving mode
Even if your phone doesn’t have layers of battery saving features like some (or you simply don’t want disable so many features), at least make use of the basic battery saver mode. Even stock Android Lollipop has it by default and Android M has the great Doze feature (as mentioned above) to help reduce battery consumption while your phone is asleep.
16. Avoid auto-syncing data
Always remember to turn off auto-syncing for Google accounts, Dropbox or any app that auto-syncs media apps in the background without your knowledge. If you don’t need every single Google account updated every 15 minutes, just go into Settings and Google account and turn off auto-sync for those apps you don’t need constantly updated.
Some apps – like email – let you manually refresh when you launch them, rather than multiple times throughout the day when you may not need them to. The same goes for other apps like Twitter. Unless you need constant updates or push notifications (like for Facebook or your calendar) just sync when you actually use the app.
17. Manually update apps
If you’re concerned about conserving battery life, the last thing you want to see is a whole slew of apps automatically updating. See how the app below updates. Huge apps like games update in tens and hundreds of MBs and if this happens when you were running low on juice you’d be in trouble. You’d also have no data left on your bundle. You can manage your app auto-updates in the Play Store settings or individually for each app.
18. Turn off Google’s OK Google
Stop your phone from always listening to Google’s Hotwords. Google’s OK Google voice searching is a fantastic and often very functional feature for those who have phones that support it. The problem is that it can play havoc with your battery. Especially if you don’t actually use it or only use it occasionally.
To turn this off, Go into Google settings from your app drawer and tap Voice heading. On the next page, select OK Google detection. In this menu, the best option for battery life would be to untick all the boxes, but if you are a fan of OK Google, just tick the from the Google app box to ensure your device is only listening when you’re in the Google app.
19. Change your network provider
Now this is a drastic move. What you have to know is that every carrier is different. The way they transmit data, configure their base-stations and the frequency bands they use, etc differs depending on their equipment vendors. It also matters how far you stay from your carrier’s base station. Always connect to 4G-LTE network if you have too since it’s a battery drain compared to 3G and 2G networks. Those who carry two smartphones can tell that one smartphone’s battery life drains faster than the other. But if you want one sure way to dramatically change battery performance, this is it.
Feature Image Credit: Android Pit